Stanford Research Reveals Why Kids Should Start School Later In Life


A Stanford research recently theorized that children should start school at a later age. Thomas Dee and Hans Henrik Sievertsen led the intriguing study. They used the Danish National Birth Cohort for data gathering wherein total of 54,241 parents of 7-year-old kids and 35,902 parents of 11-year-old kids were treated as samples for the parent-reported mental health survey.

Why is it better to start school later in life?

The Stanford research found out that kids who go to class at an early age are prone to distractions. It basically tells that a person is more capable of focusing and planning his or her time during childhood. Moreover, as they grow a little older, these kids could "self-control" more.

For one thing, Dee and Sievertsen noticed that delaying kindergarten for a year minimizes inattention and hyperactivity by 73 percent for an average 11-year-old. The two traits, for the record, are signs of ADHD. "We were a bit surprised at how persistent the effect was," the researchers told Quartz.

Well, in Finland, parents commonly send their kids to school at eight years old. Thus, most of their childhood days are spent at home or in pre-kindergarten learning programs. Essentially, these kids could have developed their skills more through unstructured play that eventually helped them out in kindergarten.

What is the preferred age?

Per Business Insider, the study says that American children normally enter school when they reach five years old. However, a notable 20 percent of kindergarten fellows are aged six. Even better, the study claims that children who attend classes at seven and 11 years old show a healthier performance.

Unfortunately, this is probably due to "red-shirting", a method of holding back used by parents to give their kids an advantage. Thus, the study posed one interesting theory: Older kids would, of course, perform better because they are already more confident. It also noted that richer families are prone to doing this strategy.

Furthermore, in Denmark for example, children have access to good pre-kindergarten training. The National Bureau of Research published the Stanford study last month. It later failed to directly prove that starting kindergarten at an older age improves test scores, but it is still one thing to think about.

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